Session 6

What influences you?

From 2 Corinthians: 21-Day Bible Study

One of the most important choices we make is what we allow to influence us. Our major influences are whatever or whoever we spend the most time with. Whether we're aware of it or not, we're influenced by what and who we listen to. 

Two powerful forces that battle to influence us are wisdom and foolishness. The Bible tells us they compete for our attention — crying out and inviting us to follow them (Proverbs 9).

Foolishness is deceptive; it can appear informed and attractive. 

Wisdom and foolishness express themselves through the words of the influencers we allow into our lives. We'd like to think we'd never be influenced by foolish people. But, foolishness is deceptive and can appear informed and attractive. 

Paul was frustrated with the Corinthian church because they allowed foolishness to deceive them. Flashy, self-proclaimed apostles preached a gospel inconsistent with the truth they originally believed. 

But, Paul counters these false apostles' claims and gives us three tips to distinguish wise from foolish people: 

1.  Fools listen to anything anyone says. Wise people compare what they hear to God’s Word and the counsel of the saints to see if it’s truth (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

2.  Fools look to move up the ladder, becoming anyone and saying anything to get ahead. Wise people are faithful with the opportunities God gives them, and they put others first (2 Corinthians 11:7-15).

3.  Fools boast about their achievements (2 Corinthians 11:17-18). The wise know to boast in the Lord (2 Corinthians 11:30-31). 

Listening to foolish influences carries harmful consequences, but listening to wise people makes us wise (Proverbs 13:20). 

In a world so full of opinions, the Bible will always be our rudder of truth and wisdom. 

Reflect:

  • Who/what influences you the most? Based on the three criteria above, are those influences wise or foolish?
  • If necessary, what is one way you can begin to change who/what influences you today?
  • What is one situation you need to ask God for wisdom about? "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you" (James 1:5).

6 of 21

Devotionals From This Study

Session 1

Ever feel like a broken record?

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Session 2

How to live forever

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Session 3

How to tell your real friends from your fake friends

Friendship has lost its depth of meaning in the age of social media. We feel connected to people because it's so easy to interact wit...

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Session 4

It’s not all about me

We hear the words “it’s not all about you” a lot these days. Sometimes it’s a genuine reminder toward selflessnes...

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Session 5

Giving to receive?

Jesus never had trouble attracting a crowd. Even when people did not agree with Him, they were still interested in the backward way He su...

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Session 6

What influences you?

One of the most important choices we make is what we allow to influence us. Our major influences are whatever or whoever we spend the mos...

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Session 7

How to build your defense

We all face situations where we don’t get the credit for something we think we deserve. Whether it is a school project, a job prese...

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Session 8

When nothing seems as black and white as we’d like

From defending your thesis on a college exam to choosing candidates during an election year, we all know the uncomfortable tug ...

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Session 9

Find strength in the most unexpected place

Weak and strong are opposites, right? By definition, when we are weak, we are not strong. At any given time, we can feel weak in hun...

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Session 10

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Life is a series of ups and downs. A season of joy and peace can quickly be followed by a season of hardship and depression. We breeze th...

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Session 11

The reason you might be seeing things differently

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Session 12

You already have the best weapon

David, a small boy, faced the giant Goliath to defend his people. King Saul offered his own armor to David, but it was very heavy for him...

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Session 13

Why you should keep cool in the face of criticism

Great leaders are fairly rare while critics are never in short supply. However, through the lens of time, do we ever remember the critics...

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Session 14

Play by the rules? No thanks.

Have you ever been playing a game with a friend that likes to pick and choose the rules? There may be rules that end up taking too much t...

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Session 15

More is never enough

One of the most challenging things in life is our relationship with money. We don’t have enough. We want more. We waste what we hav...

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Session 16

Which kind of sorrow are you feeling?

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Session 17

Can God still use me?

Our past doesn’t disqualify us from our future. If we’re not careful, we’ll talk ourselves out of our potential. A heal...

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Session 18

Doing nothing is not an option

Struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and situational depression can last for years and grow with persistent problems or come for n...

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Session 19

What’s the difference between a tithe and an offering?

Talking about money is uncomfortable. Why is that? We all need it, use it, and want more of it. How we use money is important, not only t...

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Session 20

God equips his people

Have you ever felt unequipped with words in a tough conversation?   Maybe you were having a normal conversation with your boss when...

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Session 21

If your life was a letter, what would it say?

2 Corinthians is actually a letter written by the apostle Paul to the Christians living in Corinth. When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, letter...

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